On Hiatus

I'm taking a short break from the internet for August, so this blog will be a little quiet for the rest of the month and into the first week of September. In the meantime, there are scheduled posts going up every Wednesday at my cosplay blog - The Intergalactic Seamstress - and at the review blog Critique de Book, plus the odd up to date post at Spacefreighters Lounge on a Tuesday (or you can find my fellow crew mates posting Monday-Friday). See you when September comes! 

Monday, 11 January 2016

Meet the #Author Monday - Michaela Kendrick #scifi #romance #

Please tell us a bit about yourself: I’m 28, a runner, a pretty huge geek both for scifi/fantasy and for history and economics. I have an adorable puppy named Tank and the best husband in the world.


Tell us about Dragon’s Honor: It’s the story of two people who, on the face of it, don’t have much in common: Cade is a born soldier who has done some things for which he cannot forgive himself and vowed never to fight again, and Aryn is a trophy wife who, though she has about zero talent for it, really wants to get back into the resistance movement to free her planet. They absolutely loathe each other when they first meet!

What inspired you to write this particular story?: I wanted to subvert some of the tropes that we see so often in media by having our characters embody the assumptions we tend to make about people in certain situations. First, as a society, we like to judge poor women who become trophy wives, either as gold-diggers or as victims. Aryn is neither—she’s absolutely determined to forge her own way and do so with her eyes wide open. Cade, meanwhile, takes the trope of the tortured soldier and in some ways turns it on its head. I wanted to portray some of the complexities of PTSD (sensory flashbacks, anger, hopelessness) within the structure of a life that also has humor, friendship, and hope. Cade, like Aryn, has given up on his life being perfect, but he doesn’t rage at the world. He’s made his decision about how he can live with himself, and he’s forging gamely onward.

Please share a favourite snippet from your book:

“We are both men of the world, are we not?” Ellian went to a sideboard, almost ostentatiously turning his back on Cade. I do not fear you, the gesture said.
“You might say that.” He watched his host pour two glasses of brandy, every movement studied. The glasses were picked without Ellian looking at them, and he poured from the crystal bottle with practiced elegance. When Ellian returned, Cade took one of the glasses at random and did not drink. He met Ellian’s eyes. “Perhaps you should speak more plainly.”
To his surprise, Ellian smiled at last. It was a bitter smile, but he toasted and downed his brandy in a gulp.
Damn. There was no polite way for Cade to refuse to drink now. He raised his own glass and took a sip, rolling it across his tongue as if savoring. He tasted no bitterness, saw no residue on the top of the liquid, and swallowed reluctantly. It was good. Of course it was good. From the carpets to the hardwood desk, Ellian clearly bought only the best.
“I like you, Williams.” Ellian settled onto one of the couches and gestured for Cade to join him. When Cade had chosen a seat, Ellian leaned forward, still holding the empty tumbler. “We understand one another, I think. We have both seen all this world has to offer—both in luxury and in pain.”
Cade felt his eyebrows rise before he cold stop them.
“And as you said I should speak more plainly, let me say it in the most basic terms.” Ellian smiled. “You and I, Mr. Williams, are both very bad men. We have both done very bad things. I do not think it is presuming too much to say that.”
Cade looked down into his drink. How to respond to that?
“You do not need to say anything,” Ellian assured him, eerily perceptive. “You were a Dragon. Anyone with even the most tangential affiliation to the world of war knows what the Dragons do. I know some of the ones you have destroyed—and I know there is no way you could have done so honorably.”
Cade took a gulp of the brandy.
“I should go.”
“No, I think not. I need you, Mr. Williams, don’t you see? I need a man who understands the worst the world can offer.”
“Why?” Cade asked harshly. “If you have yourself, why do you need another one? As a confidant?” He looked up, knowing his bitterness showed too clearly. “I don’t want to remember,” he said simply.
“Then you are, indeed, exactly what I require.” Ellian settled back. “Why? Yes, always people ask me why. Think, Mr. Williams. You and I have done terrible things. We know what darkness lies in the world. Aryn…does not.”
Cade’s eyebrows shot up, and Ellian laughed.
“You disbelieve me? Perhaps because she’s from Ymir?” He smiled. “Believe me, she was sheltered from the worst of the Warlord’s excesses. You have met her. You have seen her hope, her purity. There are those who call me a fool—yes, to my face—for falling in love with her so quickly. But try to understand. Seeing a woman like that on Ymir, I could no more have left her than I could have snuffed out a star. Leaving such innocence there to be corrupted would be a crime.”
The poor bastard even had friends who told him what this temptress was, and he could not see. Cade wanted to sink his face into his hands.
“Mr. Williams.” Ellian’s voice was smooth, deep. “Help me protect my wife. You do not want to use your skills to harm, and I can understand that. It is clear that you are a man of honor. Use your skills, then, to protect. Protect Aryn. She is my everything.”
~~~

Which comes first for you – a character's looks, personality or name?: Name is definitely last! In fact, it sometimes takes a few chapters for me to settle on one. Aryn was originally Petra (and that might have worked, except I started watching Jane the Virgin and all I could picture was that Petra, so I had to change it). It’s probably looks that occur to me first, but in a strange way: things like posture and muscle, the little ways that your body tells some of your story to the world. That helps me determine the personality, and from there I build their story!

Any tips for aspiring authors?: A lot of authors have covered the basic things like writing consistently and reading a lot. I think my two biggest pieces of advice would be to accept feedback (it hurts, but it’s worth it) and, if possible, take up an endurance sport. Hear me out – if you do an endurance sport, you’re training yourself to ignore your brain when it tells you that you can’t keep going. You get very well versed in saying to yourself, “shut up, brain, I don’t take that kind of crap from you.” And believe me, you’ll need that sometime over the process of creating a book – because your brain will tell you many, many times that you can’t do it. It’s a liar. Keep going!

Questions for fun:

If you had the power of time travel, is there anything you would go back and change?: I think probably, eventually I would break and go back to change something that I just couldn’t bear. But I would not want to at the start—I’d be worried that anything I did to avert disasters might lead to even bigger ones down the road. It’s a huge responsibility!

What super-power would you choose?: Flight, I think. That looks unbelievably fun!

If you could have three wishes, what would they be?: Fairly cheap faster-than-light travel technology, terraforming technology, and I’m not sure about a third. I believe strongly that our future as a species will not be on earth (at least not entirely), and I would love to see other planets before I die!

Coffee, tea or wine?: If I had to pick one, I think I’d go with tea. So much delightful variety! I’m on a holiday tea kick right now, my favorite is the Republic of Tea Comfort and Joy.

What is your favourite book? (aside from one of your own!): Hmmm, I’d probably have to go with Alanna. I still read it every once in a while! The other close contender is Robin McKinley’s Beauty.

Favourite genre and why?: Science Fiction, because it spans so much in the way of tone and theme. If I want a funny book, a serious book, a romance – I can find it!

Favourite colour?: Periwinkle


Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!



Bio:

Raised on the Dragon Riders of Pern, Star Wars, Star Trek, and a whole bunch of historical romances, Michaela grew up adoring the adventure of Science Fiction and the passion of a good love story. Filled with double crossing, grand romantic gestures, sarcasm, and plenty of heat, Michaela's books are just the sort of thing she wants to read herself!


Blurb:

The Warlord...

From high society banquets in the ice covered skyscrapers of New Arizona, to the most far-flung outposts at the edge of human-occupied space, everyone has heard of Ymir. The Alliance's reach is wide, and its soldiers are well trained, but there are always despots powerful enough to assert themselves, and Ymir has been one of the most notable failures of human history: a whole planet given over to a man known only as the Warlord.

The soldier…

Cade Williams was once a Dragon—the most elite fighting unit in known space. Precise, brutal, and unstoppable, they were a last resort in the lawless wastes of space colonization. But there was a price: in one horrific mission, Cade’s unit took down not only a slave trader, but an entire intergalactic carrier. Cade left and never looked back. Haunted by his past, he’s vowed never again to kill, never again to fight, and, filling jobs from dock worker to bartender, he’s managed to keep that vow. But Cade’s life is about to be turned upside down. Because when at last he runs out of options, his old friend Talon Rift appears out of nowhere. Talon, the man who ordered him to take down the carrier. Talon, who wants him to get back in the game. And when Cade won’t, Talon has a job opportunity he seems to know Cade can’t afford to pass up. Protect a woman. An innocent. Remarkably little chance of anything going wrong. And a man needs to eat.

And the trophy wife…

There are two problems: first, that Cade hates Aryn the moment he lays eyes on her; second, that he wants her like he’s never wanted anyone before in his life. Or make that three problems: Aryn’s fiancĂ© is a weapons trafficker with a well-deserved reputation for being ruthless, and Aryn is about to get caught up in one of his schemes - one that will bring her back to the place she only just escaped...the mines of Ymir.

Where to buy:
Dragon’s Honor will be free to read in Kindle Unlimited: smile.amazon.com/dp/B017F8X7HC/

Where to find me:

Right now, I’m only on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mkendrickauthor/
And people can feel free to email me at mkendrickauthor@gmail.com

GIVEAWAY!

For a FREE review copy of Dragon's Honor, contact Michaela directly at mkendrickauthor@gmail.com

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